Thursday, 5 February 2015

Parish Council - Report

Report of the Special Meeting of Nocton Parish Council held on 3rd February, 2015

Appointment of Chair, etc

Following the resignation of Kate Tyler as a member of the Parish Council, Ian Goldsworthy, the Vice-chair, was appointed Chair until the elections in May this year.

Councillors agreed to record their appreciation of the work carried out by Kate Tyler on behalf of the village both as a councillor and Chair of the Parish Council and wished her well for the future.  Members also welcomed Liz Murray who had recently been co-opted onto the Parish Council.

It was agreed to defer the appointment of a Vice-chair until a later date.

Parish Council Revenue Budget and Precept for 2015/16

Once again, in considering its budget for the coming financial year, councillors had to balance the need to minimise the financial impact on Council Tax payers whilst at the same time wanting to continue with their limited programme of village improvements, etc.  As the Village Hall redevelopment project nears a critical phase councillors also wished to establish a fund to support this work.  In the event, the Parish Council agreed unanimously to set its budget at £14,675 which represented an increase of £1,195 over the previous year.  Taking into account various grants and other income, this will result in a precept for the coming year of £13,672.  It was noted, however, that even after this increase, the Parish will continue to have one of the lowest levels of expenditure amongst local villages of a comparable size.

This increase in budget will mean that a Band “D” Council Tax payer will pay an additional £3.05p a year i.e. 25p a month.

Key features of the Parish Council’s budget for 2015/16 include:
  1. An increase of £300 in the Dog Warden budget to reflect actual expenditure, although some 30% of the total costs (£1800) are met by the Nocton Park Management Ltd and NKDC.
  2. Addition of a budget of £500, as recommended by NKDC, to meet the cost of the Parish Council elections in May.  In the event that no election is required (i.e. only seven or fewer residents stand for election) then this sum will be used for other purposes.
  3. Deletion of the budget for Grass Cutting to reflect the decision to purchase a lawnmower to enable volunteers to cut the village green at no cost to the Parish Council.
  4. Maintaining the budget for Village-based improvements, etc. at last year’s level.
  5. A small increase in the budget for grants and donations to enable the Parish Council to continue to provide small raffle prizes, etc to support Village Hall fund-raising events, etc.
  6. An amalgamation of all the Village Hall budgets to establish a single “Village Hall Refurbishment and Reserve” budget of £3,000.  This budget can be used to “pump-prime” the costs associated with securing a remodelled Village Hall and any “life and limb” works which are the responsibility of the Parish Council as owner of the building.

Details of the budget for 2015/16 detailing the way in which the expenditure is planned to be spent are available on the Parish Council’s website.

Financial Regulations

Councillors agreed a minor amendment to their Financial Regulations – increasing the limit for which quotations for goods and services are required from £100 to £500.

Village Hall – Tree Survey

Councillor Williams reported that a local resident – a qualified tree specialist – had kindly agreed to carry out a survey of the trees outside the Village Hall at no charge to the Council.  This survey is required as a precursor to the submission of a planning application for the remodelled Village Hall.

Ian Goldsworthy
Chair of Nocton Parish Council
5th February 2015

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